John Oliver offers fair criticism of Dick Wolf’s Law & Order

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John Oliver and Dick Wolf

John Oliver and Dick Wolf
Image: the ave club, Photo: Rich Fury/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In the criminal justice system, people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the actual criminal justice system and how Dick Wolf thinks it works or should work. Actually, he deletes that—one of those groups is a filmed fantasy and the other is one of the most important systems of government in the United States. Most of the time, as John Oliver points out in the particularly apt Sunday episode of last week tonightDick Wolf’s world and the real world exist in total opposition to each other.

In an episode discussing Law, Oliver takes aim at the long-running franchise’s portrayal of the justice system, stating that the series “makes a lot of decisions that significantly distort the overall picture of policing.” Oliver also points out that Wolf, the series creator, has historically maintained a “close, behind-the-scenes relationship with the NYPD, employing officers as consultants and boasting of the access he had.”

Law & Order: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Law it’s never going to deal with the reality of policing in any meaningful way…” says Oliver. “Because fundamentally, the person who is responsible for Law and his brand is Dick Wolf.” Wolf has previously described himself as “blatantly pro-law enforcement.”

Oliver also cites an old interview where Wolf explains that LawThe purpose of no is to “play Abner Louima,” a black man who was sodomized and beaten by NYPD officers in 1997.

“It’s a terrible thing that happened, but that represents one or two bad apples in a 35,000-strong police force,” Wolf says, echoing a classic pro-police argument that begs the question: Can a few bad apples really compare? rotten with one? Huge orange, systematically violent?

According to Oliver, many of LawThe problems stem from the fact that the reality of policing in America would be “unwatchable” for most audiences. “No one wants to watch a show where 97 percent of the episodes end with two lawyers settling in a windowless room and then you see the defendant serve six months and struggle to get a job at their local Jiffy Lube.” , it states.

Oliver also cites the endless stream of wealthy white defendants in the series, a writing decision that Wolf has explained in interviews by stating that “there are no rich white male lobbyists. You can do whatever you want with rich white people and nobody cares.” What that mentality accomplishes, Oliver argues, is that “Instead of depicting a flawed system riddled with structural racism, the show features exceptionally competent police officers working within a mostly just framework that mostly convicts white people.”

In conclusion, Oliver argues that Law it plays less like a crime series and more like a police ad. But unlike the series’ current good cops, Oliver claims that Law he fails to capture his “defective” subject. In Wolf’s warped on-screen world, says Oliver, “cops can always figure out who did it, defense attorneys are vexing obstacles to be overcome, and even if a cop manhandles a suspect, it’s all about a fair outcome.” “.

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